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Ask Sherry: What did I think of the movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’?

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What did you think of the movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’?

*POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERTS* if you haven’t watched the movie already. I won’t give away the ending but will be talking generally about the scenes.

https://amzn.to/2SiELtm

I saw it as a chicklit movie, not so much a cultural one

I finally watched the movie, and I think it was lacking a lot in the rich cultural notes that I sort of came to expect from watching legendary classics like Eat Drink Man Woman or The Joy Luck Club.

That said, it was meant to be a chicklit movie. Fun, light hearted, not heavy on the filial piety bit, and not meant to be a social commentary on Asian Americans as far as I understood.

All it was trying to do, was be a groundbreaking movie where it was centered around Asians who weren’t karate-chopping (anything with Jackie Chan in it, really) or acting like old school flying classical Chinese fighters (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), or all about the gangsta badass-ness of the yakuza or triads (like Kill Bill….)

FINALLY.

A movie that didn’t subscribe to any of these Asian stereotypes and yet was light and fluffy.


Not all Asian men are short and sexless….

Not all Asian women are subservient or “dragon ladies”…

Although… perhaps a little too fluffy and superficial.

There were also some very good references to the pain that Asian-Americans feel, growing up straddled between two worlds. Looking like one, and always being a foreigner and yet acting like another and yet not like them at all.

Being called names like empty bamboo, banana, getting teased, ridiculed or shamed for liking anyone outside of their circle, first by language (Chinese with Chinese), then by Asian-ness (Chinese with any other Asian race), then by abandoning all of that altogether and going with a Westerner (the horror!) All of it is rude. I don’t care what people say, it’s rude to shame someone for being with someone they love just because they aren’t from your racial / native tribe.

Also the opening scene is very good. I really connected with that one, to be honest. It is still alive and well today as a valid scene.

Light on the character development however

I only wish it was better-done in terms of character development, witty banter……. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it and think: I need to watch that again. It felt a bit cheesy on the script-side.

I feel like they went light on the references based on what I read in the books (which are farrrrrrr better and richer in content) so that is no surprise that I preferred the books to the movie.

I also think they missed a very good opportunity to show more of the interaction between Nick and his mother, particularly near the end.

It felt light.

They tried to make it palatable to everyone

They also tried very hard to make it palatable to everyone in North America (“Westerners”), which I am not condemning them for at all — I get it. This is kind of the first ever, groundbreaking movie that doesn’t have a genre and is considered “normal”.

I mean… their accents are all American or British. Singaporean accents sound like this and it is perfectly fine.

Just because you speak with an accent it doesn’t make you unworthy of respect. I hate it when they think you should speak a certain way to be treated properly.

British and American accents are #1 for being “cultured”, but if you think about it, if ANYONE learns another language that isn’t their own, they will always have an accent. I speak French but with a slight Anglo accent, does this means I’m inferior?

Why is one accent better or superior to others? This is nonsense.

For instance, they tried to scrub out a lot of the accents to make it more Westernized (granted, based on what they were aiming for this makes a lot of sense to not have to have a ton of subtitles or a lot of slang) and to downplay the foreignness of the movie (people did not pay to have to think about what they are saying in various languages), even though it is based on another continent altogether.

They still snuck in a few of those references but not much.

My favourite scene was the Mahjong one. Not because it was sappy because I didn’t cry, but I did have to google what that scene meant symbolically with the empty bamboo sticks, and the East and West seats, and then I had to rewatch the scene again to get all the rich symbolism which made me happy to see.

Very light on fashion though *sad face*

I wanted more fashion — didn’t see much of these fantastic outfits worn by Astrid and Araminta, but I think it probably sets it up for a sequel. Which I will most likely watch. I didn’t get much of the Astrid and Araminta character either — maybe there wasn’t enough time, but they felt like side characters, not main ones.

I really did want MORE outfits. But maybe the book is best for that because it went into exquisite detail on what each girl was wearing.

I will say that the outfits in the movie are also not what I expected because Peik Lin is dressing far more avant garde than the book would have me believe, and it is SO HOT and humid there that I cannot imagine they are all in suits and not sweating one iota. I call BS.

The FOOD made me so hungry. OMG. I want to eat everything. I still do. I get hungry watching this movie.

All in all, not a bad movie but not great in terms of being compared to other movies I have watched and still love.

Thoughts? What did you think of the movie?

When do you expect for Little Bun to transition to his own room? It sounds like you could get some much needed rest that way.

When he turns 5. I have been prepping him that big boys who start in school, will start sleeping in their own bed when they turn 5 years old..

Who knows if that will stick. If he cries a lot, and screams then it will be worse, as we will have to get up to go and take care of him, which is how him sleeping in our bed started in the first place.

Actually, as of late, he has been much better about sleeping. Nose bleeds aside, he doesn’t kick me in the face as often as he used to, and I sort of let him wiggle and sleep anywhere (I don’t give AF when I am sleeping), my partner is the one who gets up and takes care of him at night …. I couldn’t care if he freezes and wakes up from shivering without a blanket because I am dead to the world.

So, the priority of him moving to his own bed is not a big one for me… I have been sleeping well lately, all things considered.

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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2 Comments

  1. Grace Chua

    Yup , totally agree with Sherry. It was kinda disappointing if one had read the book.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Very disappointing. I wanted more STYLE. Actual cool STYLE but I guess he made up all those outfits 🙁

      Reply

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